How to Open a Corporate Account in the UAE for Residents?

Pauline Familara
Pauline Familara
28 February 2024
How to Open a Corporate Account in the UAE for Residents?

Local and international companies can open a corporate bank account in the UAE. There are certain complexities in the banking jurisdiction of the country. Many documents need to be provided to open an account in Dubai for a resident. Then, each document must be translated into Arabic or English, adequately certified, submitted to the bank, and awaiting completion of comprehensive verification. Even after this, a businessman may take up to four weeks to obtain banking services. The head of the company, who has signing authority, must be present in the country and personally sign the contract with the bank.

The article will discuss the advantages of professional legal support and the most reliable banks. Please note that this publication is informative and not a consultation. For genuine assistance in problem-solving, please contact Dynasty Business Adviser.

Who Can Open a Corporate Account in the UAE?

How to Open a Corporate Account in the UAE for Residents, photo 1

Banks provide services to legal entities that have established a connection with the country. This is done as follows:

  1. If a company rents an office, confirmation is provided by a signed lease agreement by both parties.
  2. For legal entities whose personnel work in coworking spaces or business centers under flexi-desk arrangements (virtual office), the director or founder must have an Emirates ID (an Emirati identity document). This will enable the opening a corporate account in Dubai for a resident working without office rental.

If a company’s authorized representative is a citizen of a country that Dubai considers high-risk in terms of money laundering, gaining access to banking services without renting an office is very difficult.

How to Obtain an Emirates ID in 2024

Emirates ID is a document that verifies an individual’s identity. It is issued to foreigners after obtaining residency. It allows:

  • Living in the country for the duration specified in the document.
  • Earning income through freelancing or employment.
  • Studying and obtaining diplomas from local educational institutions.
  • Accessing government services.
  • Voting for representatives in the Federal National Council.
  • Passing through eGates and “smart gates” at the country’s airports.
  • Traveling within the Persian Gulf countries as a transit document.

A foreigner registering a company on the mainland or in one of the Emirates’ free economic zones has the right to residency. They can apply for either a standard residency visa or what is known as a golden visa. In both cases, obtaining a business license is required. The differences with the Golden Visa include

  • The need for the approval of the business project by a special auditor and business incubator.
  • The company’s activity must be exclusively innovative.
  • Investment starting from 500,000 dirhams, approximately 136,145 dollars.

Opening a company and having an Emirates ID allows opening an account in the UAE for a resident who wishes to conduct business. It should be noted that companies with a virtual office must confirm the signatory’s residency status and Emirates ID within a maximum of 90 days from the date of opening the bank account. The financial institution can block the account if it does not receive confirmation.

Benefits of Opening a Corporate Account in the UAE for Residents

Having resident status grants access to services of international financial institutions with excellent reputations.

When choosing a bank, several factors should be considered:

  • The status of the signatory.
  • The currencies in which transactions will be conducted.
  • The sector of the economy in which the enterprise operates and where it is registered.
  • The minimum balance requirement in the bank.
  • The countries where the legal entity and its counterparts will do business.

By opening accounts, companies can avail themselves of all the advantages of interacting with the world’s best financial institutions.

  1. International transfers and payments without financial control and restrictions on amounts.
  2. Ease of transactions to Europe, as banks in the UAE support the IBAN system.
  3. Free bank account servicing, unlike European banks, for clients who maintain a monthly balance of income and expenditure operations and regularly replenish their accounts.
  4. Exceeding the interest rate on deposits (2%) over the annual inflation rate (1%).
  5. Security and confidentiality of transactions, convenience of service, and high speed of financial operations.
  6. Positive image of financial institutions, which extends to their clients, affecting business reputation.
  7. Reliability of banks, whose solvency according to Fitch Ratings is designated as AA — stable income and only three points below the possible maximum value in the “big three” of international rating agencies.

There are indeed many advantages, and we will discuss the challenges below.

Top Reliable Banks in the UAE for Opening an Account

How to Open a Corporate Account in the UAE for Residents, photo 2

The regulatory policy of the Central Bank stabilizes the financial market, maintaining a high level of service and stability in the national economy.

In discussing the top 3 best banks in the UAE, it is worth mentioning:

  • Dubai Islamic Bank is the first and largest bank operating on Sharia principles and international banking ethics.
  • Emirates NBD, the largest bank in Dubai, has a robust online presence and can remotely manage accounts for individuals and businesses.
  • HSBC Middle East is an international bank with a wide range of banking services, attractive lending conditions, and stable positions in the UAE’s banking sector.

Financial institutions offer account openings in Dubai for residents who need credit on favorable terms. The banking system in the UAE can be utilized not only by large investors but also by medium and small businesses.

Available Types of Corporate Accounts

In Dubai, companies can open the following types of bank accounts:

  1. Current Account — the primary bank account for conducting business activities and financial transactions, with an unlimited number of transactions, overdraft (credit) facility, and issuance of checkbooks.
  2. Savings Account — for accumulating excess funds with an interest rate of up to 2% per annum and a set of limitations on the number and amounts of transactions.

The bank also provides free issuance of debit and credit cards. There is also the option to open a Special Purpose Account and a Deposit Account for specific purposes.

What Documents Are Needed to Open a Corporate Account for a Resident?

To open a current account in the UAE for a resident, the following documents, translated into English or Arabic and adequately certified, must be provided to the bank:

  • Trade license.
  • Memorandum of Association between investors.
  • Business plan.
  • Shareholder certificates.
  • Office lease agreement.
  • Emirates ID of the director, signatory, shareholder.
  • Passports with entry stamps into the country for officials and investors.
  • The personal address of the shareholder or signatory in the UAE if the company only has a virtual office.
  • Bank statements (if the company is not new) for the last 3-6 months.
  • At least 3 invoices from each customer and supplier with information about their addresses, websites, and business activities.

The authority of the person who signed the contract with the bank is confirmed by a power of attorney or a resolution of the shareholders appointing them as a director.

Procedure for Opening a Corporate Account in the UAE for a Resident

How to Open a Corporate Account in the UAE for Residents, photo 3

The process begins with selecting a bank. Then, a package of documents is gathered, the list of which is required by the chosen bank. Each financial institution may have peculiarities associated with the client’s document package. Subsequently, the company’s head with signing authority personally visits the bank to submit an account opening application and sign all necessary documents.

After the submission and thorough document verification, the bank decides to service the client’s transactions. One should be prepared for the financial institution to request an initial deposit. The amount may be quite significant since it is a prosperous country. Next, a bank representative and the signatory enter into a contract for the account opening. The company has issued a statement detailing the account’s particulars and information about the associated plastic cards.

How We Work: Stages of Cooperation with Dynasty Business Adviser

As you can see, opening a corporate account in Dubai is not very simple. Assistance from specialists who are well-versed in all the intricacies of corporate account opening and constantly monitor changes in the requirements of banks and the government will be beneficial.

Do you want to save time, money, and nerves? Turn to Dynasty Business Adviser if you need to open a corporate account in Dubai for a resident. We guarantee a minimum timeframe for resolving the task without any issues. Fill out the application on our website or call our consultant right now.

  • Miniaoui, Héla, ed. "Economic Development in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: From Rentier States to Diversified Economies". Vol. 1. Springer Nature, 2020.

  • Guzansky, Y., and Segal, E. (30 August 2020). "All in the family: Leadership changes in the Gulf". INSS Insight No. 1378.

  • "UAE Economy". Archived from the original on 8 June 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.

We use cookie files and similar technologies to ensure that users are as comfortable as possible.